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Lesson Transcript

Talking Japanese Culture, Season 1, Lesson 20 – Top 5 Famous Businessmen in Japan
Hello, and welcome to JapanesePod101.com. I’m Eric.
In this lesson we will talk about the ​"Top 5 Famous Businessmen in Japan”.
The first person (on the list) is (J: Matsushita Kōnosuke ). He is the charismatic founder of the Panasonic groups (J: Panasonikku), and is known for his business philosophy for creating wealth for society.
Born in 1894, Matsushita left primary school and was sent to serve as an apprentice at age nine, after his father failed in business.
However, he excelled in running a business during his apprenticeship. In 1918, he started a little store that sold lamp sockets, which later became one of the world’s leading electronics makers.
Matsushita has also made significant contributions to Japanese society by setting up a private institute to groom future civic leaders.
The next person (on the list) is (J: Toyoda Eiji). He was the fifth President and the first chairman of Toyota (J: Toyota).
Eiji Toyoda is the cousin and the right-hand man of the car maker’s founder Kiichiro Toyoda. Eiji is known to have developed and implemented the “Just-In-Time” production method within the company as a means of eliminating waste and to improve productivity.
In 2013, Eiji Toyoda passed away at the age of 100, leaving behind a legacy of leadership philosophies and practices. Today, however, he is still remembered as one of the brightest business leaders of the world.
The next person (on the list) is (J: . This man, the son of a poor blacksmith, is the one who started Honda Motors (J: Honda giken kōgyō) from the ruins of World War II.
Soichiro Honda was a man with a big personality, who was often described as freewheeling and unrestrained. Once when he was a child, for instance, he created the family’s name stamp to forge his parents’ signatures as a confirmation of receiving his terrible school reports.
The rebellious mechanic had also tirelessly fought against tradition, and didn’t hesitate to criticize or stand against government officials.
The next topic is about (J: Morita Akio) and (J: Ibuka Masaru). These two jointly founded consumer electronics giant Sony (J: Sonī).
In 1946 post-war Tokyo, engineers Morita and Ibuka set up a radio-repair shop, Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation (J: Tōkyō Tsūshin Kōgyō), which later became Sony.
The small company initially faced a number of financial challenges. But the company gradually grew to lead the world’s product innovations thanks to Morita’s brilliant fundraising talent and Ibuka’s technical engineering skills.
The last person (on the list) is (J: Inamori Kazuo). Inamori, ordained as a Buddhist monk, founded both the electronic components maker Kyocera (J: Kyōsera) and the telecommunications firm KDDI (J: KDDI).
In 1959, 27-year-old Inamori and seven friends started Kyoto Ceramic which is now known as Kyocera. He later founded the parent company of the current KDDI.
In 2010, Inamori also took on the task of leading the turnaround of Japan Airlines without pay. With no experience in the aviation business, the management guru successfully rebuilt the carrier that had once almost gone bankrupt.
That’s all we have for this lesson. The postwar success of the Japanese economy couldn’t have been achieved without these charismatic and hard-working business leaders. Feel free to leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts! Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time. Until then, bye!


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